sport

Imperial in mint condition

Nigel Twiston-Davies reports Imperial Commander's build-up to next month's Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup to be continuing without a hitch.

The 2010 champion returned from an enforced absence of almost two years when beaten just half a length in the Argento Chase at his favourite course.

"He's great, it's all systems go," said the Naunton handler.

"He will probably have a racecourse gallop somewhere, just to keep him ticking over."

The trainer of more than a dozen winners at the Festival is sure to be mob-handed once again at his local venue with the likes of smart novice The New One and African Gold, who has been beaten only once in six career starts and could be one of his best chances.

"He will go for the Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle," said Twiston-Davies.

He can be backed at 14/1 with Sky Bet for Friday's three mile novice.